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Topic: Romney (Read 4730 times)
Reply #150 on:
September 27, 2012, 11:29:24 AM »
Doug, Romney thought mandated health care for all residents was good/great for the people of his state.
Further, he is using his mandated medical plan, in his own words, on national TV,
as his best example
"shows more empathy and care about the
people of this country
than that kind of record."
Yet he opposes ObamaCare which is much like his own plan.
And you don't think that's not a Flip Flop?
Reply #151 on:
September 27, 2012, 01:11:08 PM »
Except to the extent that it makes him a weak candidate on what would be a major issue but for his flip flop, I don't care. He's taken a stand that as best I can tell he cannot reverse to stand for undoing Obamacare on the national level.
Re: Romney, How about Consent of the Governed as a governing principle.
Reply #152 on:
September 27, 2012, 01:47:01 PM »
JDN, In the future, will you please not use my name in your posts when you are being UNRESPONSIVE to the points made or the questions posed. You DO or you DO NOT see a distinction between state and federal legislation? You didn't say.
One difference between a Massachusetts state plan and Obamacare is ... CONSENT of the GOVERNED. In Mass, the people wanted the program and sent legislators there to the tune of 85% Democrats to get it done. The most Romney could do is shape it slightly with the powers of being Governor and spin it positively the best that he could.
In Obamacare, there was no consent of the governed for the people of Texas as an example. Who in WYOMING wanted this or voted for it? Pres. Obama rounded up a temporary majority that already has been disbanded to force down the throat of Americans what MOST DO NOT WANT.
Yet you see no distinction, you never acknowledge where you are wrong, just move on with more deception and blurring.
One candidate has a signature achievement of ramming this down our throats and one has promised to repeal it. That makes for a VERY CLEAR DISTINCTION. Why not argue the merits of the legislation or the repeal with one side for it and one side against it instead of the ad hominem attacks that you throw?
Your example is not a flip flop, it is a distinction you choose to ignore. Romney's past was too moderate and too compromising for many of us on the right. So we choose between too moderate and far left - that's easy!
You say he changed a position where he did not and you said he will raise tax rates where he has said he will not. Why can't you argue policies and positions of the candidates honestly?
Pres. Obama chose to write special deals in the bill for special Dem Senators rather than negotiate on substance to win even one Republican vote. Did you show where that same thing happened in Masschusetts under Gov. Romney? If so, I missed it.
Noonan: This is it Mitt
Reply #153 on:
September 28, 2012, 08:30:49 AM »
Noonan: 2012 Debates: This Is It, Mitt How Romney can make the most of his face-off with Obama.
By PEGGY NOONAN
"Governor, the success or failure of your entire presidential campaign will come down to what happens between the hours of 9 and 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3. We're at a hinge point in history. It's not too much to say the future of the American republic depends on how you do in that hour and a half."
"Um, specifically, what do you want me to do?"
That's what's coming from some of Mitt Romney's supporters right now—Wednesday night is critical, the last chance, so don't forget it's nothing, a walk in the park. He doesn't strike me as easily given to freak-outs, but if he is, this would be the moment.
Let's take a different approach.
It is true that the debate has the potential to alter the dynamic of the election. A good or great one, followed up by an improved, more serious campaign, could make everything new again. A bad one would do damage indeed.
But there will be three debates, and it's possible the truly high-stakes one will be the last, on Oct. 22. And there are some institutional and personal elements surrounding the Wednesday debate that may well work in Mr. Romney's favor.
From a canny journalist with a counterintuitive head: "The media will be rooting for Romney." Two reasons. First, they don't want the story to end. They're in show biz: A boring end means lower ratings. Careers are involved! Second, the mainstream media is suddenly realizing that more than half the country (and some of their colleagues) think they are at least operationally in the tank for the president, or the Democrats in general. It is hurting the media's standing. A midcourse correction is in order, and Wednesday will offer an opportunity: I think it's fair to say Gov. Romney more than held his own this evening, and a consensus seems to be forming that the president underperformed.
Mr. Romney walks in as the underdog, behind in the polls. He's not the president, the other guy is. He's not world-famous, the other guy is. The president is known for smooth presentation and verbal fluidity, Mr. Romney more recently for awkwardisms and gaffes.
It's good to be the underdog. "Politics is exceeding expectations."
As the Republican candidate, Mr. Romney is used to being battered about. He can take a shot. But once you're president, you're never battered about. The mystique of the Oval Office is too great. People tell you what you want to hear. Everyone's too easy on you.
President Obama hasn't been challenged in public in a long time. He hasn't been challenged in private in a long time. So if Mr. Romney treats him with respect but not deference, if he really engages, challenges, questions and pushes, he just might knock the president off his stride.
There was something Mr. Romney did in the primary debates. When his competitors were answering questions, he didn't stand at the podium looking distracted. He'd turn and smile at them sweetly and encouragingly, as if he were thinking, "You're the cutest little shrimp." No one has looked at Mr. Obama like that since 2003. It's possible he wouldn't like it.
Everyone is waiting for the "Are you better off now . . ." question, but that's a little complicated. No one knew Reagan was going to uncork it in 1980, and so it had a chance to be devastating. This year, everyone knows it's coming. So maybe it won't come. Mr. Obama surely will have memorized a response. Or maybe he will bring it up first. "I'd actually like to talk about whether some people are better off now. It's a complicated question, but teachers and firefighters who've kept their jobs because of what we did might say they're better off . . ."
Mr. Romney should be wondering Which Obama he'll meet.
More-in-Sorrow-Than-in-Anger Obama? He patiently explains, until your eyes cross, the real facts of the economy and the beginning of recovery, the competing and even contradictory forces that determine outcomes. He speaks in soft, rounded phrases.
Peggy Noonan's Blog
Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.
Faux-Humble Obama? I've made some mistakes, I'll admit it. I didn't always do so well explaining exactly what I was doing, in terms of policy, and all the reasons why. I haven't been perfect, but I wasn't wrong to help people get through the height of the crisis. I've learned a lot, but I didn't need to be told to save the U.S. auto industry.
Perturbable Obama? This is a proud man. He doesn't like to be questioned too closely, as he showed when he was pressed on Univision last week.
Rope-a-Dope Obama? As he showed on "60 Minutes," he can make it up as he goes along when he feels he needs to. If you endlessly correct his numbers, it could leave you sputtering digits, slinging factoids, losing the larger point.
Cool McCool? This Obama is tall, friendly, shows up on "The View" and has a smile so big it wrinkles his nose. But he can refer to himself as "eye candy," and reminds you of the old McCain commercial: "He's the biggest celebrity in the world."
Maybe Mr. Romney will meet all five.
Mitt Romney still sounds, at this late date in the campaign, as if he's talking to Republicans. But they don't have to be persuaded, they think Mr. Obama is a disaster and want him out. He should be talking to independents, centrists, suburban women, those who might be won over. A lot of them would be grateful to be impressed.
In that area, an idea. In 1980, a lot of people thought incumbent Jimmy Carter wasn't cutting it. It wasn't personal, he just didn't have the right answers for the problems at hand. But people had real doubts about Ronald Reagan—he was too shoot-from-the-hip, he'd start World War III. These were understandable reservations! He had to prove he was a pair of safe hands.
People think Mr. Romney's rich, doesn't understand regular people's lives. They're not sure he can turn things around. He has to prove he's a pair of safe hands.
One way to get at that: People hate it that Washington doesn't work anymore, that it's incapable of solving problems, that it can't even pass a budget. There is widespread knowledge that Mr. Obama, whatever his virtues, doesn't work well with others—he can't negotiate, can't bend them to his will, doesn't really listen, can't work it out, can't win them over. It's all stasis now. And will be if he is re-elected. The complaint that he is at once convinced, detached and uninterested is heard not only in Washington and among Republicans, but among foreign leaders.
Maybe Mr. Romney can note that he once ran a great state, that he faced a legislature dominated by the other party, that he worked with them, heard them, negotiated with them, and that together they produced a great deal. Even a health-care bill that didn't tear the state apart, didn't cause widespread bitterness, didn't inspire broad public resentment. It was, in these respects, the opposite of ObamaCare. Mr. Romney learned much from the experience about what works locally and can work nationally. It's actually not a story to avoid, it is a story worth telling.
Romney: A new course for the ME
Reply #154 on:
October 01, 2012, 10:57:30 AM »
Well gents, what do we make of this?
Mitt Romney: A New Course for the Middle East
Restore the three sinews of American influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values..
By MITT ROMNEY
Disturbing developments are sweeping across the greater Middle East. In Syria, tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power, and the country's peace treaty with Israel hangs in the balance. In Libya, our ambassador was murdered in a terrorist attack. U.S. embassies throughout the region have been stormed in violent protests. And in Iran, the ayatollahs continue to move full tilt toward nuclear-weapons capability, all the while promising to annihilate Israel.
These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere "bumps in the road." They are major issues that put our security at risk.
Yet amid this upheaval, our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies.
And that's dangerous. If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel's security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom.
We still have time to address these threats, but it will require a new strategy toward the Middle East.
The first step is to understand how we got here. Since World War II, America has been the leader of the Free World. We're unique in having earned that role not through conquest but through promoting human rights, free markets and the rule of law. We ally ourselves with like-minded countries, expand prosperity through trade and keep the peace by maintaining a military second to none.
But in recent years, President Obama has allowed our leadership to atrophy. Our economy is stuck in a "recovery" that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels. Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied—and misunderstood—by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries.
By failing to maintain the elements of our influence and by stepping away from our allies, President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability. He does not understand that an American policy that lacks resolve can provoke aggression and encourage disorder.
The Middle East is a case in point. The Arab Spring presented an opportunity to help move millions of people from oppression to freedom. But it also presented grave risks. We needed a strategy for success, but the president offered none. And now he seeks to downplay the significance of the calamities of the past few weeks.
The same incomprehension afflicts the president's policy toward Israel. The president began his term with the explicit policy of creating "daylight" between our two countries. He recently downgraded Israel from being our "closest ally" in the Middle East to being only "one of our closest allies." It's a diplomatic message that will be received clearly by Israel and its adversaries alike. He dismissed Israel's concerns about Iran as mere "noise" that he prefers to "block out." And at a time when Israel needs America to stand with it, he declined to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East—that is, both governments and individuals who share our values.
This means restoring our credibility with Iran. When we say an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability—and the regional instability that comes with it—is unacceptable, the ayatollahs must be made to believe us.
It means placing no daylight between the United States and Israel. And it means using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression. The dignity of work and the ability to steer the course of their lives are the best alternatives to extremism.
But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values. That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing.
The 20th century became an American Century because we were steadfast in defense of freedom. We made the painful sacrifices necessary to defeat totalitarianism in all of its guises. To defend ourselves and our allies, we paid the price in treasure and in soldiers who never came home.
Our challenges are different now, but if the 21st century is to be another American Century, we need leaders who understand that keeping the peace requires American strength in all of its dimensions.
Mr. Romney is the Republican Party candidate for president.
526 economists, 5 Nobel laureates back Romney’s economic strategy
Reply #155 on:
October 09, 2012, 11:30:24 AM »
More than 500 economists — including five Nobel laureates — have endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic plan as the right choice for jobs creation and economic growth.
The pro-Romney group “Economists for Romney” announced Monday that its statement of support for the former Massachusetts governor’s economic plan now has 526 signatories, up from 400 a week ago.
“We enthusiastically endorse Governor Mitt Romney’s economic plan to create jobs and restore economic growth while returning America to its tradition of economic freedom,” Economists for Romney’s statement of support reads, proclaiming Romney’s plan as based on “proven principles” to restrain the federal government and expand opportunities in the private sector.
The 526 economists — including Nobel laureates Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Myron Scholes — point to six facets of Romney’s economic approach that they see as beneficial to future economic success.
Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.
End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.
Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.
Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.
Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.
Seven of the signatories are from Harvard University and five from Columbia University — two of President Barack Obama’s alma maters.
The economists’ statement of support pillories Obama’s economic record, claiming that his expansion of the federal government has resulted in “anemic economic recovery and high unemployment,” which will continue if his future plans are implemented.
Among the Obama policies with which the 526 economists take issue include:
Relied on short-term “stimulus” programs, which provided little sustainable lift to the economy, and enacted and proposed significant tax increases for all Americans.
Offered no plan to reduce federal spending and stop the growth of the debt-to-GDP ratio.
Failed to propose Social Security reform and offered a Medicare proposal that relies on a panel of bureaucrats to set prices, quantities, and qualities of healthcare services.
Favored a large expansion of economic regulation across many sectors, with little regard for proper cost-benefit analysis and with a disturbing degree of favoritism toward special interests.
Enacted health care legislation that centralizes health care decisions and increases the power of the federal bureaucracy to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on patients and doctors, and creates greater incentives for waste.
Favored expansion of one-size-fits-all federal rulemaking, with an erosion of the ability of state and local governments to make decisions appropriate for their particular circumstances.
Re: Romney Foreign Policy address, excerpts
Reply #156 on:
October 09, 2012, 12:01:45 PM »
The attack on our consulate there on September 11th, 2012 was likely the work of forces affiliated with those that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001.
This latest assault can't be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the administration's attempts to convince us of that for so long. No, as the administration has finally conceded: These attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists who use violence to impose their dark ideology on others -- especially on women and girls -- who are fighting to control much of the Middle East today and who seek to wage perpetual war on the West.
The relationship between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel, for example -- our closest ally in the region -- has suffered great strains. The president explicitly stated that his goal was to put "daylight" between the United States and Israel, and he succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.
When we look at the Middle East today, with Iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in Syria threatening to destabilize the region, and with violent extremists on the march -- and with an American ambassador and three others dead likely at the hands of Al-Qaeda affiliates -- it's clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. I know the president hopes for a safer, freer, and more prosperous Middle East allied with us. I share this hope.
I'll roll back President Obama's deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military. I'll make the critical defense investments that we need to remain secure. The decisions we make today will determine our ability to protect America tomorrow. The first purpose of a strong military is to prevent war. The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I'll restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I'll implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin. And I will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2% of their GDP to security spending. Today only three of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark.
POTH goes after Romney's economist
Reply #157 on:
October 14, 2012, 09:33:25 AM »
“I HOPE you’re sitting down for this,” said Ali Velshi, the CNN anchor, staring into the camera, his voice booming with incredulity about a campaign promise issued by Mitt Romney: that, if elected, Mr. Romney would create 12 million jobs in four years.
Having framed this idea as preposterous, Mr. Velshi introduced R. Glenn Hubbard, the dean of Columbia Business School, a Romney campaign adviser and a “very smart man,” as the host put it. So smart, Mr. Velshi told Mr. Hubbard, that “you couldn’t have been involved in the writing of that policy.” Why? “Because you would know that that is just not possible.”
Wearing a dark suit and projecting an air of geeky, avuncular calm, Mr. Hubbard appeared before a blue backdrop festooned with the words “Columbia Business School.” If he was supposed to be cowed or disarmed by the bluster or flattery, he did not show it.
“It is absolutely possible, Ali, both in terms of models of policy effects on the recovery and historical experience,” he said, in a tone that was professorial but not patronizing, “If you look at the recovery from ’74, ’75, or ’81, ’82, you can easily get job growth in this range. We have the wrong policy mix. We’ve had a nasty shock, we’re in a different situation, but we could do a lot better.”
Succinct, authoritative and unabashedly partisan. Leave aside that most economists see a vast difference between the recessions of the ’70s and ’80s and the crisis that began in 2008. This was exactly the sort of performance Mr. Hubbard has been delivering for the Republican candidate, both on television and in op-ed articles, for more than a year. Straddling the occasionally uncomfortable line between academia and politics, Mr. Hubbard is playing a role now familiar in modern campaigns: the in-house economist.
Mr. Hubbard has helped to draft many of Mr. Romney’s economic and tax policies, and, at least implicitly, lent his imprimatur to others he did not conceive. The benefits are potentially mutual. If Mr. Romney is elected, Mr. Hubbard is considered a strong candidate for the job of Treasury secretary and even, after Ben S. Bernanke’s term expires, chairman of the Federal Reserve. (Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank, is another possible contender for the Treasury job.)
To the job of in-house economist, Mr. Hubbard brings a rare ability to translate complex policy into plain English, as well as a conservative’s love for small government and a faith that cutting taxes will spur growth. During a stint as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Hubbard was known as the principal architect of the Bush tax cuts.
Mr. Hubbard also brings to this job a certain amount of baggage. He appeared briefly in “Inside Job,” a scathing and Oscar-winning 2010 documentary about the financial crisis. The film has a segment about high-profile professors who blessed many of the financial instruments that led to the fiasco. Enter Mr. Hubbard, who is presented as a leading thinker far too cozy with industries he ought to be assessing at a critical distance.
“You have three more minutes,” he tells an interviewer who is pressing for the names of his consulting clients. And then, as his face contorts with rage, he adds, “Give it your best shot.”
MR. HUBBARD is hardly the only marquee economist to parlay his experience and stature into millions of dollars, for speeches, papers and expert witness testimony. Lawrence H. Summers, once the Obama administration’s top economic adviser, pocketed about $5.2 million in compensation for giving advice to a hedge fund. But in Mr. Hubbard’s case, some of his amply compensated work takes policy stands that buttress the viewpoints of the corporate interests that are paying him.
That’s been true of the mutual fund industry, which has paid him more than $1 million over the years. In an academic paper and a book, he took a strong position favoring the industry’s approach to fees, which critics say hurt everyday investors. He was paid what he called an honorarium of $150,000 for the academic paper by the insurance arm of the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry trade and lobbying group.
“Dean Hubbard is a mercenary,” says John P. Freeman, emeritus professor of business and professional ethics at the University of South Carolina School of Law, who has accused the mutual fund industry of profiteering, “out to protect fund managers who are taking advantage of investors.”
Mr. Hubbard says the source of funding is irrelevant because his academic writing stands on its own.
Some of Mr. Hubbard’s extracurricular activities have also made faculty members at his Columbia Business School unhappy, because, they say, they reflect poorly on the institution. Others complain that he has run the school with a somewhat autocratic hand and feel that they have been buffaloed into casting votes and rallying behind causes that they haven’t necessarily supported.
One of those causes was Mr. Hubbard himself. It’s been a well-kept secret, but faculty members say that in 2008, the president of Columbia, Lee C. Bollinger, wanted to bounce Mr. Hubbard from his job. Why? Nobody has offered an explanation, not even to the senior faculty members who were asked at a meeting to rally behind their leader by signing a petition of support. Neither Mr. Hubbard nor Mr. Bollinger would answer questions on the subject.
Mr. Hubbard’s friends and fans note that he is a conservative leading an institution dominated by liberals, and that some friction is inevitable. As for calling Mr. Hubbard a mercenary — that suggests that he will fight for causes he doesn’t believe in. Which, one former colleague says, is not so.
“Glenn is ideologically conservative,” says Ron Miller, a former economics professor at Columbia who now works for NERA, an economic consulting firm. “Nobody has to pay him to say this stuff. That’s what he believes.”
Mr. Hubbard declined to be interviewed for this article, citing a busy schedule. He agreed to answer questions via e-mail, though many seemed the answers of a man striving to come across as nothing-to-see-here bland. He also provided the names of some friends, many of whom wanted to underscore the same idea: the guy is not bland.
“Did you know, for instance, that he has a brother who is a country music star?” asked Kevin A. Hassett, a friend and scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Hubbard’s younger brother, Gregg — known to fans as Hobie — is a member of Sawyer Brown, a country rock band that gained fame via “Star Search,” a sort of precursor to “American Idol.”
“He’s always had a great sense of humor,” says Gregg Hubbard, speaking by telephone before a flight to a concert. He recounts celebrating his 40th birthday in New York City and sharing a gift he had just been given, a Razor scooter, with his brother. “We were with my older nephew,” he says, “and we took turns, the three of us, riding up and down Broadway on a scooter.”
Glenn Hubbard was raised in Apopka, Fla., a suburb of Orlando known as the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World,” because of its many greenhouses. His father taught at a community college, and his mother taught at the high school he attended. She is remembered by her students as both pleasant and exacting, a formidable presence whom Mr. Hubbard’s friends regard as the wellspring of her son’s discipline and ambition.
“I write a column for a local paper,” says Bryan Nelson, a state representative and a onetime pupil of Ms. Hubbard’s, “and to this day, when I run into her she has no qualms about telling me what I got wrong — the grammar, the spelling.”
Glenn Hubbard was an Eagle scout, a star of the chess team and a stellar student who graduated at the top of his class. He scored high enough on College Level Examination Program tests to enter the University of Central Florida with enough credits so he could graduate with two degrees in three years.
“At the age of 8 or 9, we both began collecting coins,” says Nelson Smith, a childhood friend and now a physician. “That led to questions about currencies: how the concept of money evolved over the centuries, how systems of finance are set up. He never said, ‘I’m going to be an economist,’ but you could see that’s where his mind was headed.”
Mr. Hubbard received his master’s and Ph.D. at Harvard and became a hugely productive scholar with a wide range of interests. Fellow conservatives view his work with pure reverence. From the left, you hear grudging caveats like, “He’ll never win the Nobel Prize.” He is best known for research in tax policy and government spending programs. One influential study quantified the major role that cash flow plays in driving corporations to invest.
“The lesson,” says James Poterba, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an admirer of Mr. Hubbard, “is that if someone is looking for policy instruments that might raise investment, then lower corporate rates could do it because you change the current availability of cash for firms.”
On behalf of the Romney campaign, Mr. Hubbard has argued that the Obama administration has “stuck the economy in a slow growth trap,” as it was put in a recent position paper, “The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth and Jobs,” of which he was a co-author.
The way out of this trap, he and his co-authors wrote, is to reduce federal spending, cut marginal income tax rates by 20 percent across the board and gradually reduce the growth in Social Security and Medicare benefits for more affluent seniors. He would also like to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial legislation and the Affordable Care Act.
That paper, of course, is a campaign document, but if Mr. Hubbard has any differences with Mr. Romney on economic matters, he won’t name them. “I support Governor Romney’s economic program,” he wrote when asked if his candidate had any taken positions he does not support.
If Mr. Hubbard becomes Treasury secretary, cutting taxes would very likely be his highest priority. Altering the tax code to encourage savings and bolster investment has been one of his favorite causes. While serving under President Bush as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, he pushed to reduce dividend taxes to zero. (Ultimately, the top tax rate on dividends was cut by more than half, to 15 percent.)
In that job, he also demonstrated great skills as political player. He turned the council, which had existed until then mainly to rah-rah administration policy, into a force in Washington.
Glenn usurped the Treasury Department on tax policy,” says Leonard E. Burman, a professor of public affairs at Syracuse University who worked at the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration. “I had friends who worked at the department after I left, and they said that Glenn shifted the balance of power dramatically.”
As Mr. Hubbard has moved seamlessly through the Republican upper echelons of Washington, he has also cultivated relationships in corporate suites. He serves on three corporate boards, which collectively paid him $785,000 last year. One of those is the board of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the private equity firm of which Henry R. Kravis was a co-founder. In 2010, Mr. Kravis pledged $100 million to the Columbia Business School, his alma mater, for the construction of a new building. It was the largest gift in the school’s history.
DURING his eight years as dean, Mr. Hubbard has charmed some faculty members and alienated others. A few say that despite his buttoned-up appearance, he is approachable and is always up for some banter.
“He was teaching a class across the hall and I would complain to him, ‘Glenn, why is my classroom such a sauna?’ ” says Jonathan Levav, a former member of the faculty who is now an associate professor of marketing at Stanford. “And he would say: ‘That’s funny. The temperature in my classroom is perfect.’ When the person in power can have fun with you like that, it puts you at ease. It puts a human face on your boss.”
Mr. Hubbard can take a bit of needling, too, says Raymond Horton, a professor of ethics and corporate governance at Columbia Business School.
“When Romney made his 47 percent boo-boo, I went to the dean’s office and said ‘Way to go, Glenn,’ ” Professor Horton says. He diplomatically declined to put Mr. Hubbard’s response on the record.
There is another, more prickly side to Mr. Hubbard, though it is not a side he has shown very often. One faculty member who saw it is Noel Capon, a tenured professor in the school’s marketing department. In October 2010, he received a letter from Christopher J. Mayer, a professor in the finance and economics division who was then the senior vice dean, accusing him of violating a number of Columbia University rules on outside commercial ventures. The letter had what Mr. Capon considered an aggressive tone; it took him aback. After a few months and a conversation with a fellow professor, Mr. Capon concluded that Mr. Hubbard was behind what he regarded as a carefully orchestrated campaign against him. The point, he believes, was to bully him into line.
“There were situations in the past where I might have made statements that challenged Glenn,” says Mr. Capon, who acknowledges that he has a hard time keeping his opinion to himself. One opinion he couldn’t keep to himself concerned a decision, in May 2010, to offer tenure to a professor from another university — a decision he opposed. He wrote a letter saying so, copying the provost, and stating that the process had not allowed him to air his dissenting views. (The issue went away when the outside professor turned down the job.)
Eventually, Mr. Capon met with Mr. Hubbard to discuss the issues raised in Mr. Mayer’s October letter.
Mr. Capon says Mr. Hubbard told him that “you’ve given me crap from the day I started” and that “you’ve been abusive from Day 1.”
Mr. Hubbard says that he never said those words. “I would not speak in that manner to anyone, let alone a faculty colleague,” he wrote.
Mr. Mayer did not reply to e-mails requesting comment.
The dispute ultimately fizzled away. But Mr. Capon is no longer buying Mr. Hubbard’s placid exterior.
“If he’s crossed,” Mr. Capon said, “he can be brutal.”
As dean, Mr. Hubbard has made some high-profile hires, including Patrick Bolton, a specialist in contract theory who was lured away from Princeton, and twice revamped the curriculum, to give students more flexibility in choosing classes and to shorten the time it takes to complete required courses.
Neither change was controversial, but the way some decisions have been made at the school was described as “Brezhnevian” by one professor, who like many interviewed for this article requested anonymity in order to preserve relationships with the school. In one vote, faculty members were asked to raise a hand if they were in favor of a particular change. There were no dissenters, several attendees recalled.
The most memorable vote came in the fall of 2008, when Mr. Mayer gathered senior faculty members and made a surprising announcement: Dean Hubbard’s job was in peril. President Bollinger was balking at appointing him to a second five-year term.
According to several participants, Mr. Mayer urged professors to demonstrate their support for Mr. Hubbard with a petition, which attendees were asked to sign on the spot. Several current and former faculty members used the identical word to describe the experience: bizarre.
It wasn’t just that some professors, even fans of Mr. Hubbard’s, felt a little coerced. It was that nobody had any idea why President Bollinger wanted to jettison him.
“I was not happy,” one faculty member says. “There was no way to have a view on the subject. It was like signing a contract that you haven’t read.” Mr. Mayer did not reply to e-mails seeking comment.
In an e-mail, Mr. Hubbard kept his thoughts on this subject to an anodyne minimum. “I am honored that President Bollinger gave me the opportunity to be dean,” he wrote.
Mr. Bollinger declined to discuss this episode or respond to written questions about it. He sent an e-mail that described Mr. Hubbard as “a distinguished academic economist who as dean has maintained an active, engaged voice in the public debate.”
In absence of any official word, faculty members have been left to speculate about why Mr. Hubbard nearly lost his job. Nor does anyone know why Mr. Bollinger decided to reappoint him, though current and former faculty members have a pet theory: that Mr. Bollinger was worried about losing the financial support of Mr. Hubbard’s friends, most notably Mr. Kravis.
As several faculty members pointed out, a little acidly, Mr. Hubbard had helped to cut taxes for people like Mr. Kravis. “They owed him,” one professor said.
IN conversations with Columbia Business School faculty members, you hear occasional hints of irritation with Mr. Hubbard over his cameo in “Inside Job” and the embarrassment they say it visited on the school. Part of the reason is that the fallout led to new and more stringent conflict-of-interest and disclosure rules — and that those forced many professors to drop lucrative side projects. It’s as though Mr. Hubbard was caught overeating, so everyone had to go on a diet.
Others question whether it is wise for Mr. Hubbard to take on certain clients. For instance, he served as an expert witness in the defense of two Bear Stearns hedge fund managers accused of defrauding investors in 2009. Both men were ultimately acquitted, and in a recent interview, one of their lawyers, Edward Little, praised Mr. Hubbard’s testimony as “absolutely critical.” Some at the school wonder whether it served the institution’s interests for its leader to be publicly linked with people accused in one of the only Wall Street cases to stem from the great recession.
Asked whether he was concerned about connecting the school to matters like the Bear Stearns prosecution, Mr. Hubbard wrote, “I am comfortable that I balance my scholarship and teaching, deanship, and outside activities very well.”
That balance has included work for many corporations that have generated unflattering headlines in recent years. On his résumé, in the category of “consulting or advisory relationships,” Mr. Hubbard lists Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. He was co-author of a paper with William C. Dudley, then the chief economist of Goldman Sachs, titled “How Capital Markets Enhance Economic Performance and Facilitate Job Creation,” which praised derivatives and the housing boom in 2004, as both were inflating into an epic bubble.
“Credit derivative obligations have become an important element that has helped protect bank lending portfolios against loss,” he and Mr. Dudley wrote.
The mutual fund industry has been a major source of income for Mr. Hubbard, and through that work he has taken a solidly pro-industry stand on a much-debated and much-litigated question: Do mutual fund advisers gouge clients by charging excessive fees? No, Mr. Hubbard argued in a paper he wrote with John C. Coates IV of Harvard Law School, titled “Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry.”
In the paper, the authors argued that it was essentially impossible for mutual fund advisers to overcharge on fees because the mutual fund business was so competitive. As the authors wrote, “fund investors may fire advisers at any time by redeeming shares and switching to other investments.”
Unlike Mr. Hubbard, who was paid that $150,000 honorarium for the paper, Professor Coates said in an interview that he had not taken any money from the Investment Company Institute and that as a matter of personal policy did not accept money in such circumstances for academic work.
Mr. Hubbard earned much more making the same pro-industry point in several court appearances, as an expert witness on behalf of corporations and mutual fund interests. One of those cases was a lawsuit by employees of ABB, a power generation products manufacturer, against the company and Fidelity, the mutual fund giant, over accusations that ABB paid excessive fees, at the employees’ expense, to manage the company’s 401(k) plan.
During a cross-examination, Mr. Hubbard said Fidelity had paid him $420,000 for his participation in the case. About $200,000 of that was direct billings — he charged $1,200 an hour — and the rest came from a company called the Analysis Group, which provides teams of experts for research projects. Mr. Hubbard earned 7.5 percent of the amount that Analysis Group researchers charged Fidelity.
A federal judge in Missouri ultimately found that ABB and Fidelity had breached a number of their fiduciary duties and in March of this year ordered ABB to pay $35.2 million and Fidelity to pay $1.7 million for losses.
But Professor Freeman at the University of South Carolina says he believes that Mr. Hubbard’s scholarship on this subject — particularly the paper he co-wrote — was shoddy and did genuine damage.
Page 5 of 5)
“What Hubbard and Coates have done is pour holy water on the Investment Company Institute’s hopelessly stupid defense of fees charged by mutual funds,” he said in a telephone interview. That Mr. Hubbard took money for the paper casts doubts on his motives, Professor Freeman says.
Mr. Hubbard wrote that he did not worry that the money might appear to influence his findings.
“Any work of scholarship rises or falls on its ideas, empirical support, and argument,” he wrote. “Readers can then make whatever judgment they wish.”
IF Mr. Hubbard becomes the Treasury secretary, the job will surely mean a drastic cut in pay. What it would mean for the rest of the country is not easy to divine; the Romney campaign has been vague on many details, particularly how it would offset a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut without adding to the deficit.
But you can get a pretty good sense from looking at the economic priorities of the George W. Bush administration, says Martin N. Baily, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton and is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Baily was a critic of the Bush tax cuts because, he says, they left the country without the wherewithal to battle the great recession.
“When I read the Romney economic plan,” he wrote in an e-mail, “it seemed to me that it was basically the Bush plan.”
There are plenty of centrist and right-of-center economists who think that Mr. Hubbard would make a fine Treasury secretary. They are impressed by his intellect, trust his instincts and commend his leadership during previous stints in Washington.
Some right-leaning economists, though, have reservations. Their worry is that Mr. Hubbard is not enough of a deficit hawk, and that if he follows through with tax cuts as articulated in the Romney plan, the results could be a disaster.
“Cutting taxes in 2001 wasn’t a crime,” says Luigi Zingales, an economist at the University of Chicago, who was one of the co-authors of an op-ed article with Mr. Hubbard. “Not fixing the deficit today is. If you think he’s a guy who’ll go ahead and play the same strategy, which I have to say most people do, then we’ll ultimately wind up with an even bigger deficit. I trust he’s smart enough not to play the same strategy.”
Reply #158 on:
October 19, 2012, 08:02:42 AM »
As was mentioned tangentially in the Media thread, Mitt's answer in Debate 2 to a question on women's issues was how he was unsatisfied with the list of candidates that was brought to him because it did not have enough women and how he told his people to bring him "binders of women" etc. and how he then appointed lots of women. The question was raised there, and I move it to this thread here,
Isn't this affirmative action?
"Binders of Women"...
Reply #159 on:
October 19, 2012, 08:33:19 AM »
Leaving aside the desperate and crazy assertion that the use of this term was anything but a clumsy choice of words (I chuckled as he said it live, and thought: "he means to say binders of women's resumes" - big deal), the answer to Crafty's question is YES.
This thought occurred to me as well as I watched debate #2. I would have preferred that Romney had attacked the entire idea of a "gross disparity in women's pay" as demonstrably false for at least the last 20 years. However, that admittedly might have been getting into the weeds in an unwise manner during a political debate. The average person watching would need to have this explained in detail to grasp it, and this wasn't the right forum.
But yes - this is unquestionably affirmative action, and is as ill-advised as any other form of mandated hiring or admission preference IMHO.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Reply #160 on:
October 19, 2012, 08:42:45 AM »
Can we fairly distinguish this on the basis of it being voluntary?
Reply #161 on:
October 19, 2012, 09:58:38 AM »
Crafty: Sure. That's a clear distinction. To clarify, I think what Romney described doing was perfectly fine - it was his decision after all - and wasn't mandated.
All I'm saying is that from a broader philosophical perspective, GENERALLY, arbitrary quotas are a bad idea. Hiring a person because she is female, or gay, or black, or Catholic or whatever is illogical from a competitive standpoint in business. The over-riding primary criteria should always be how well the person can perform in that job.
"You have enemies? Good. That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Reply #162 on:
October 19, 2012, 10:31:26 AM »
Another possible distinction is lurking implicity in what you just said-- that of private-public.
For example, it can be argued that all groups in the society should feel represented in its government e.g. surely it would be a bad idea for a black ghetto to be protected by a white police force. Seen thusly there is nothing wrong with Romney saying that he did not want an all-male coterie of advisors. Of course most of us here suspect he was pandering (at least I do
) but the two notions I offer in my preceding post and this one can serve to distinguish what he did and hopefully neuter the precedentary claims of the progressives.
POTH: Romney's English
Reply #163 on:
October 21, 2012, 09:12:21 AM »
Gosh, Who Talks Like That Now? Romney Does
Richard Perry/The New York Times
Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, left, made cherry pies with Linda Hundt, the owner of Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe in DeWitt, Mich., during a campaign stop in June.
By MICHAEL BARBARO and ASHLEY PARKER
Published: October 20, 2012
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — At a campaign stop in Rockford, Ill., not long ago, Mitt Romney sought to convey his feelings for his wife, Ann. “Smitten,” he said.
A Romney Soundboard
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
A sampling of some of Mitt Romney's common quips and expressions.
"If You Will"
"For Pete's Sake"
"Stinks to High Heavens"
Not merely in love.
“Yeah, smitten,” he said. “Mitt was smitten.”
It was a classic Mittism, as friends and advisers call the verbal quirks of the Republican presidential candidate. In Romneyspeak, passengers do not get off airplanes, they “disembark.” People do not laugh, they “guffaw.” Criminals do not go to jail, they land in the “big house.” Insults are not hurled, “brickbats” are.
As he seeks the office of commander in chief, Mr. Romney can sometimes seem like an editor in chief, employing a language all his own. It is polite, formal and at times anachronistic, linguistically setting apart a man who frequently struggles to sell himself to the American electorate.
It is most pronounced when he is on the stump and off the cuff, not on the stuffy and rehearsed debate stage. But Mr. Romney offered voters a dose of it during his face-off with President Obama last week, when he coined the infelicitous phrase “binders full of women.”
Mr. Romney’s unique style of speaking has distinguished him throughout his career, influencing the word choices of those who work with and especially for him. Should he reach the White House, friends and advisers concede, the trait could be a defining feature of his public image, as memorable as Lyndon B. Johnson’s foul-mouthed utterances or the first President Bush’s tortured syntax.
Mr. Romney, 65, has spent four decades inside the corridors of high finance and state politics, where indecorous diction and vulgarisms abound. But he has emerged as if in a rhetorical time capsule from a well-mannered era of soda fountains and AMC Ramblers, someone whose idea of swearing is to let loose with the phrase “H-E-double hockey sticks.”
“He actually said that,” recalled Thomas Finneran, the speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives when Mr. Romney was governor. “As in, go to ‘H-E-double hockey sticks.’ I would think to myself, ‘Who talks like that?’ ”
Mr. Romney, quite proudly. In fact, he seems puzzled by the fascination with something as instinctive (and immutable) as how he talks, as if somebody were asking how he breathes. “It’s like someone who speaks with an accent,” he said in an interview. “You don’t hear the accent.”
His Mormon faith frowns on salty language, and so does he. A man of relentless self-discipline, he made clear to lawmakers in Boston and colleagues in business that even in matters of vocabulary, he “held himself to a high standard of behavior,” said Geoffrey Rehnert, a former executive at Bain Capital, the firm Mr. Romney started in the 1980s. Mr. Romney’s father, George, whom he idolized, shared the same style of refined and restrained speech.
Those around him are so accustomed to his verbal tics that they describe them in shorthand. “Old-timey,” said one aide. “His 1950s language,” explained another. “The Gomer Pyle routine,” said a third.
Asked about his boss’s word preferences, Eric Fehrnstrom, a veteran Romney adviser, responded knowingly: “You mean like ‘gosh, golly, darn’?”
For Democratic strategists, Mr. Romney’s throwback vocabulary feeds into their portrayal of a man ill-equipped for the mores and challenges of the modern age. David Axelrod, a top adviser for an Obama campaign that has adopted “Forward” as its slogan, once quipped that Mr. Romney “must watch ‘Mad Men,’ ” the hit television show set in Manhattan in the 1960s, “and think it’s the evening news.”
His exclamations can sound jarring to the contemporary ear — or charming, depending on whom you ask. Midway into a critique of Mr. Obama’s economic policies a few months ago, Mr. Romney declared: “They’ve scared the dickens out of banks,” he said. “They’ve scared the dickens out of insurance companies.”
(Page 2 of 2)
He declared, “To heck with it!” while urging reporters to use their fingers to dig into a box of pastries he was passing around on a plane. “Darn good question,” he replied to a voter in Kalamazoo, Mich., who asked how he would work with Congress if elected. (His wife also got the “darn” treatment in Michigan, when he enthused, “Gosh, darn, she is amazing!”) “Thank heavens” is another favorite.
For people used to peppering their speech with four-letter words, time with Mr. Romney can prove an exercise in self-control. A half-dozen people recalled the precise moment when they swore — almost always accidentally — in his presence.
When Robert Travaglini, then the Democratic president of the Massachusetts State Senate, would curse in front of Mr. Romney, the governor would frown and interject, “Well, I wouldn’t choose that diction,” Mr. Travaglini recalled.
Mr. Rehnert, the former Bain executive, was mortified when a potential client he took into Mr. Romney’s office promptly dropped a string of profanities. “Mitt wanted to know what cats and dogs I was dragging in here,” Mr. Rehnert said.
His cussing colleagues said Mr. Romney took pains not to judge them publicly. “He did not impose his language preferences on us,” Mr. Finneran said. “But I wonder if we became a little bit more restrained because we knew this about him.”
Mr. Travaglini recalled lawmakers’ discussing how Mr. Romney “should be more in tune with the vernacular of the day and express himself more passionately.”
“But,” he added, “that’s not who he is.”
Mr. Romney does have his own distinctly G-rated arsenal of angry expressions — “Good grief,” “flippin’,” “good heavens” and even the occasional “crap.”
Perhaps the most intriguing of these is “grunt.” Most people just grunt. Mr. Romney, however, talks about grunting. “Grunt” he says, onomatopoetically, when annoyed with a last-minute change in his campaign schedule.
Many of Mr. Romney’s verbal habits can sound like those of a hyper-literate graduate student who never left school. (In college, he majored in English.) He favors the gentlemanly qualifier “if you will,” which he invoked three times during a recent speech.
On how to reduce the debt: “You have to start accumulating, if you will, reserves.”
On speaking to a group of soldiers: “The cadets were all lined up and sitting at attention, if you will.”
On his business background: “I’ve had the experience of working in the real world, if you will.”
In interviews, voters expressed an equal measure of admiration for and curiosity about his quaint dialect, which many described as a conspicuous break from the normally harsh tone of politicians.
“It’s a wonderful change,” said Irene Sperling, a retiree from Allentown, Pa. “He’s a gentleman.”
Wendy Tonn, 63, a Romney supporter who splits her time between Michigan and Florida, said she found comfort in his vocabulary, comparing it to the simple innocence of “Leave It to Beaver.” “We are of that era, and we’d like to be returned to that kind of era,” she said.
Even Dennis Miller, the comedian, has weighed in, suggesting that after four years of having a “hipster president” in the White House, Americans craved a “gosh president.”
A few acquaintances have tried to drag him linguistically into the 21st century. Mr. Finneran, an admitted serial curser, said that after years of working closely with Mr. Romney, he began to fantasize about provoking him to utter a particularly crude word.
“It got to the point where I started to think that my greatest achievement of all time would be if I somehow or other got him to say the word,” he said.
Once, Mr. Romney seemed on the cusp of fulfilling that wish during a heated discussion. But he caught himself. “And I thought, ‘Oh, God, my closest moment ever,’ ” Mr. Finneran said. “But it’s not going to happen.”
Allred's attack fizzles
Reply #164 on:
October 25, 2012, 03:49:46 PM »
October 25, 2012
A Fat Lot of Nothing: Romney's Testimony, Now Released, Called "Devastating" To Allred's Claims
Romney didn't testify at her divorce -- there was no hearing on it.
Rather, he testified in 1991, when the Former Mrs. Stemberg sought to re-litigate her original settlement. Romney was called in to talk about the value of the 500,000 shares in Staples she received. Or Stemberg's net worth. Something like that.
Her theory was that Stemberg had put up Romney to deliberately lowball the value of Staples. Like I've noted, this makes no sense -- if Staples stock isn't worth all that much, than The Former Mrs. Stemberg's shares from the settlement are worth less, and that increases the chances a judge would agree that the original settlement was unfair, and put it aside.
But whatever. Her claim rests on the idea that Romney knew Staples would grow in value, but lied about.
Here's the problem: As an initial investor, Romney had the option to buy a lot of Staples stock. If he really thought Staples were a surefire hit, he'd have exercised all those options, and bought as much stock as he was legally entitled to.
He didn't. He said Staples could grow, or could fail, because, apparently, he believed it could grow, or could fail. Thus he hedged his own bets, buying some Staples stock, but not as much as he was entitled to.
From the court transcript. The questions come from "Stemberg's lawyer," the article says, which I assume means Tom Stemberg, because this seems like friendly questioning. The answers are from Romney.
Q: "Thank you. Now, you say that before making the investment in Staples round C you read the statement 'Additionally, this is planned to be Staples final equity offering prior to a public offering of mid 1989.' And you say that you did not - Strike that. You say you read that statement. Let me ask you this, sir. Did you, therefore, as a result of that subscribe to the full amount to which you were entitled to subscribe?"
A: "I did not."
Q: "And why was that, sir?"
A: "Because while I believed that there was a realistic probability that we would achieve that outcome, there was also a realistic probability that we would either lose our money or we would achieve something less than that. And my personal assessment and that of my partners was that the risk that we would not achieve the plan was high enough that we should not subscribe to our full amount."
Q: "And you did not subscribe to the full amount?"
A: "We did not subscribe to the full amount."
The Former Mrs. Stemberg sold half of her shares before Staples went public. The price did indeed grow after that. Though, as a matter of fact, it seems to have grown by only modest amounts until it began taking off in the mid-nineties, then really jumped around 1998. The bigger growth came well after this 1991 relitigation.
The Former Mrs. Stemberg seemed to have done what Romney did -- hedged her bets by dumping half the stock early for some cash money, rather than pinning her hopes to an explosive gain in value. And she seems bitter about that decision of hers, and looking for someone to blame for her own decision.
If she'd kept all the 500,000 in shares, she'd be fabulously wealthy. She didn't, so she's not quite as wealthy.
She didn't have full confidence in Staples -- some, but not much. Turns out, that's the level of confidence Mitt Romney had in it, too, based on his own investments in the stock.
As Powerline says, what this has to do with Mitt Romney remains something of a mystery.
By The Way: I'm suuuuure this is nothing -- like, totes sure -- but Gloria Allred met privately with Barack Obama two weeks ago.
The Endless Divorce: And I do mean endless.
As I said, this divorce is now celebrating its silver anniversary -- its 25th anniversary -- and is as passionate as ever.
t's hardly news that Stemberg believes she settled for too little.
"The entire spectacle is about her client's divorce, which began almost twenty-five years ago. It has been litigated and re-litigated," one source with knowledge of the the divorce proceedings tells me. "She has attempted to get her settlement overturned, but failed. She appealed the decision, and failed. She tried to take her case to the State Supreme Court, and was rejected. She has accused her husband and others of defrauding her, to no avail. She has sued her attorneys for malpractice, and lost. She has declared bankruptcy, and tried to sell her story as a book and a movie, also to no avail."
[T]he court rejected Sullivan-Stemberg's request [to set aside the settlement] in 1994. Instead, Stemberg-Sullivan was found to have sold her stock expeditiously, before it matured to what it would be worth only a couple years later. "[T]he wife cannot blame the husband for her uncoerced decision to sell approximately one half of her shares prior to the initial public offering of the Staples stock," the judge ruled. She had 500,000 shares of Staples, from the first divorce settlement.
Tom Stemberg was granted a divorce on grounds of "cruel and abusive treatment," incidentally.
I guess that just about wraps this up. Not only is it a non-story, I think it's pretty plain it's such a non-story -- at least about Mitt Romney; I guess there's a story here about one of the bitterest divorced women in recent history -- not even the Obama-loving media will take this stinky bait.
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